Grant covers installation of electric chargers

Port Angeles funding to cover 50 chargers

PORT ANGELES — The federal government awarded $2 million to the City of Port Angeles for the installation of 50 electric vehicle charges in an effort to expand infrastructure and support tourism.

Another $14 million grant will go to Energy Northwest — a Washington-based public power utility — to install 40 fast and 12 Level 2 EV chargers across Western Washington and Oregon, including Forks, Sequim, Quilcene, Port Ludlow, Shelton, Raymond, Ilwaco, Kamilche, Longview and Kalaloch.

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer’s, D-Gig Harbor, office announced last week that Port Angeles was granted $2,103,611 for the charges through a program funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“This is a big deal,” Kilmer said in a press release. “Let’s talk about what this means. It means our state’s most rural areas — including places like Port Angeles near the Olympic National Park — will have new charging infrastructure to support economic activity, enabling more tourism and more business.”

The grant will fund the installation of 50 fast and type II electric vehicle (EV) chargers near U.S. Highway 101, the release said.

Jessica Straits, communications and records management coordinator with the city, said in an email the city would install seven chargers for the city’s police fleet and the remaining 43 throughout the city, centered around Highway 101.

Locations for the chargers are:

• Port Angeles Corporation Yard, located close to the Tumwater Truck Route and Highway 101.

• Port Angeles downtown parking lot, a block from the Blackball Ferry Terminal.

• Port Angeles Senior Center, 328 E. Seventh St.

• Erickson Park/Civic Field, 302 S. Race St.

• Various City parking areas, about two to three blocks from Highway 101.

• Port Angeles Police Station, 321 E. Fifth St.

• Port Angeles Fire Department, 102 E. Fifth St.

Charging capabilities for alternative transportation options such as electric bicycles also will be explored at several locations.

The grant will provide the lion’s share of the money for the project, which is estimated to cost a total of $2,629,514. The city will provide the remainder, according to officials.

“We’ve witnessed a growing demand for EV charging infrastructure, particularly amongst our visitors,” Straits said. “This project ensures our community can continue to welcome visitors and support the changing needs of both residents and visitors alike.”

Additional information timing of the grant is still forthcoming, Straits said.

“This investment ensures our city is ready for the future, supporting the sustainability and climate resiliency goals of our community, while also addressing the evolving needs of our residents and visitors,” said Port Angeles Mayor Kate Dexter.

“As the demand for EV chargers grows, we are accommodating the needs of our residents and ensuring that visitors with electric vehicles can seamlessly explore all our community has to offer.”

The grant is provided through DOT’s Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program, which will allocate $700 million nationwide in 2024.

According to DOT, Level 2 EV chargers, offer higher-rate AC charging through 240-volt or 208-volt electrical service and is common for home, workplace, and public charging. Level 2 chargers can charge a battery electric vehicle to 80 percent from empty in four to 10 hours and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle in one to two hours.

The funding is provided by the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law which authorized $1.2 trillion for transportation and infrastructure spending. The law provided $2.5 billion over five years for DOT’s charging and infrastructure grants.

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Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at peter.segall@peninsuladailynews.com.

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